Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party member and eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday said BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was the "real protector of Indian Muslims" and his communal image was a creation of the Congress and the other "so-called secular faces" of the country.
Drumming up support for the saffron party at a lecture titled 'Relevance of Narendra Modi in Indian Politics', Jethmalani tore down the Congress and described it as a "maut ka saudagar (dealer of death)" in a strongly worded address. Jethmalani said Modi won his first assembly election from Rajkot in February 2002 on the back of thumping support from the Muslim community.
He claimed that even in the 2012 assembly elections in Gujarat, Modi received the support of 31% Muslims in the state, helping him become the Gujarat chief minister for a third time. "Modi is not communal at all. It is clearly evident that they (Muslims) like him and will vote for him in the Lok Sabha elections," he said.
He said that during Congress rule in Gujarat in 1969, several Muslims were killed in riots in Ahmedabad. Evoking the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, he said the kin of those killed in the communal violence were still awaiting justice. "Modi deserves to be the Prime Minister. He has all the qualifications to lead the country," Jethmalani said.
Jethmalani rubbished the Congress, saying said he did not consider party vice-president Rahul Gandhi capable enough of heading the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). On Aam Aadmi Party, Jethmalani said that one of the founders of AAP, advocate Prashant Bhushan, had himself told him that "AAP is the B team of Congress" and they were "working" for Rahul Gandhi. Jethmalani also shared with the gathering his career as a legal luminary.